Hello fellow Weekend Writing Warriors
! It's good to be back. I've missed you all and am looking forward to making the rounds again. Camp NaNoWriMo's
April session went well. I did not accomplish my goal of finishing the draft, but I am some 50,000 words closer to doing just that.
This week, a sample of what I wrote during my absence. Using my signature random scrolling method, I give you eight sentences from Chapter 30 of The DeFord Chronicles, Part II
. Our hero, Chauncy DeFord has been framed for murder and treason. The king has just explained the circumstances under which evidence against Lord DeFord was found in said hero's chambers in the palace. It is known that the criminal must be a member of the nobility, and the innocence of our hero depends--in the eyes of most of the king's council--on the word of a young kitchen boy.
Two lords were visibly relieved, most of the others were skeptical. “Why should anyone take the word of a mere kitchen boy?”
“He could have been bribed.”
“Yes, or threatened.”
The king’s face grew a bit red. “I examined the boy myself and detected no sign of either. As to who would take the word of a kitchen boy, why should such a child be considered less honest than a member of the nobility who commits treason? At the moment I am inclined to believe my lower subjects far more pure and honorable than a good share of the nobles.”
Poor King Phillip. It's a trying situation, but there are some on his council who are in agreement about Lord DeFord's being innocent. For more from The DeFord Chronicles, Part II
check out my last blog post. It contains a lengthy excerpt.
I'm looking forward to reading all the wonderful excerpts, by the wonderful authors who make up the Weekend Writing Warriors
. See you around the web! :o)Kate
April was a long month. During this early session of Camp NaNoWriMo
I wrote almost every day, managed to add more than 50,000 words to my WIP, and did not finish the darn thing. But I am much, much closer to the end than I was on March 31st. NaNoWriMo events are great motivators for me.
In the last week my spring headache rush has come. They always get bad this time of year. Could be allergies, or a reaction to the warmer weather, or perhaps merely the stress of anticipating the coming summer.
I was about ready to post and do some work on sprucing up the blog when the internet went out. Obviously not the entire internet, but mine certainly went down. Apparently people in twenty states were affected. Let me tell you, I am far more dependent on my internet connection than I realized. Oh sure, most of my social life is on here. And of course, my business is run 99% online. But I was a bit surprised at how very much I missed the internet. It's certainly a good thing that I didn't have to go longer than two days without service. And I did get more housework done than usual. :o)
Anyway, I thought I should give you all a taste of what has been keeping me from you. I'd ask how you managed to bear the deprivation of my company but I suspect most of the world didn't even notice I was gone. For those of you who did...a sneak peek at the raw and unedited (and disappointingly still unfinished) The DeFord Chronicles, Part II
Out of the many subplots in the novel I have chosen this excerpt regarding a young lady who is in love with one man, but sadly about to be betrothed to another. At her first offical court ball she determined to prove herself an unequal match for the duke of Langdon. Unfortunately her success was not well-received by her scheming uncle. That night as Gillian was readying for bed she thought over her performance at the ball. She had made a great fool of herself and embarrassed her uncle terribly. She had gone out of her way to prove that she would be a disaster as a duchess, using her inexperience and sheltered existence as the ultimate excuses for her behavior. It was true that she had not been to court before, and that a great many things had been kept from her in terms of knowledge of the world. That worked to her advantage. Since she had not attended any other balls, or events where the entire court was present, no one could say that she was not honestly unprepared for the night. Only she and a few others knew better.
She was brushing her hair in front of the glass when she saw her uncle enter the room. Her hand froze mid-stroke. He was most certainly not pleased.
“Out, all of you.” Everard commanded. “I would have words with my niece."
Gillian turned an anxious face to the retreating servants. Not one of them gave her even a glance of sympathy. They would not risk their master’s displeasure and thus their own employment.
He waited until the door was shut behind the last of them, then
stalked across the carpet and struck Gillian from behind with the back of his
hand, knocking her off of her chair.
“You think you are clever, do you?” He kicked the chair away and circled her menacingly. “Playing the ignorant country lass. Get up. Get up!” He hauled her to her feet, fingers biting into the flesh of her upper arms, and backed her against the hard stone wall. “A fine performance my girl but it was all in vain. Look at me.” When she failed to comply he grabbed a fistful of hair and yanked, forcing her head up until they were nose to nose, his wine-soaked breath as awful as his cruelty.
“You will wed the duke. I care not for your opinion on this or any other matter. You will wed him and you will promote me at every opportunity or I will make you suffer as you have never dreamed you could suffer. Do you understand?”
She nodded as best she could, eyes wide with fright, tears streaming down her face.
Everard released her and walked away. “Pleasant dreams, dear niece.”
Gillian heard the door close and slid to the floor, crying as quietly as she could. Her arms hurt and her head too where it had felt as if he would pull her hair right out. She loosened the bodice on her gown and pushed it down to look at her arms, purple streaks were already forming in the shape of fingers.
She had never loved her uncle. Now she hated him and wanted to see him ruined and broken. She should confess these wicked thoughts, but she was enjoying them too much. The hatred would give her strength to do what she must.
First she thought of sending a note, but none of her uncle’s servants could be trusted to deliver it. Gillian had no doubt he had ordered them to watch her carefully. The only reason he had not locked her in her chambers was that he knew she had nowhere to go. Who could she turn to for aid?
Duncan must not know. He would challenge her uncle, and much though she loved him, Gillian was not ready to believe him invincible, besides which Everard would not play fair. It would have to be a lady. Princess Therese might help her, but she did not wish to take advantage of their tentative alliance. And really, what could a girl of ten and seven do, even a princess?
She could not go to the queen. She tried to remember if any of the ladies at court had been companions of her mother’s but her mother had died when she was very young and her father not long after. There was no one in particular she could remember as one on whose sympathy and assistance she could rely. Having been raised in the country she herself knew no one at court, and it would be dangerous to approach just anyone. It was impossible for her to know who might side with her uncle, probably all of them. They would likely think her mad to spurn the possibility of becoming a duchess. She wished desperately for Duncan, but he more than anyone must be kept in the dark, for his own safety even more than for hers.
Suddenly she saw it. The only possible solution: a lady who was known for her tender heart and goodness, who was close to the queen, and whose husband and father were powerful men. She would go at once while the marks were still fresh. The hour was not too late, and as she was still dressed no one would pay any attention to her.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
“My lady there is a maiden at the door who wishes to speak with
Isabelle removed her rings and sat. “Who is she, do you know?”
“No my lady but she looks as if she has had an awful fright. She said you are her only hope.” The servant repeated exactly what Gillian had told her to say. The weight of the gold coin the girl had given her was a pleasure to feel in her pocket.
“Show her in.” Isabelle took off her bracelets and necklace then turned to receive her unexpected guest.
“Lady St. Robert. Please help me!”
Isabelle was moved by the plea, which she took to be heartfelt, but the falling at her feet and grasping her skirt was a bit much. She recognized the petitioner at once. Carlisle’s niece, who was to wed the duke of Langdon. “Calm yourself, child. Tell me, what manner of trouble are you in?” She hoped in her heart that she could help for the girl looked quite wild.
“I must escape my uncle. I cannot wed the duke and he will kill me if I do not!”
“Lady Gillian, you exaggerate. Surely your uncle only wishes what is best for you. Lady Gillian, what are you doing?” Isabelle stared as the girl pushed her bodice down. She stared still when she saw the marks, but her eyes had turned from shock to outrage. She touched one arm gingerly. “Who did this to you?”
Tears filled Gillian’s eyes. “My uncle.”
Isabelle looked into the girl’s eyes and knew at once that it was true. Dramatic she might be, but not dishonest. “Why have you come to me?”
“I have no friend at court. I do not know who to trust.” Gillian confided as a tear streaked down her left cheek. She brushed at it unhappily. “I have heard of your kindness. And I…”
“Go on.” Isabelle urged.
“I heard that your family is not on friendly terms with my uncle. I could not risk seeking help from anyone who is allied with him.”
Isabelle nodded. That was a very valid point. “From whom did you hear that we are not on good terms with Carlisle?”
“From your son Duncan.” Gillian’s eyes turned frantic. “He must not know about this, that my uncle hurt and threatened me!”
Oh dear lord! Isabelle thought. So that was the way of things. She had noticed a change in her eldest son. He was more thoughtful, seemed to have some purpose, was actually being responsible. Did the girl return his feelings? Yes, or she would not have been so adamant that he not know of what had occurred. Isabelle of all people knew her son’s impulsive nature. No, it would be best if he did not know of the incident.
Isabelle latched onto the later part of Gillian’s exclamation. “How did he threaten you? Come, sit over here.” She guided the girl to a bench closer to the light so she could get a better look at the bruises forming. The dark purple was a stark contrast to Gillian’s fair skin. These were deep bruises. Only a man intent on injuring could have made those marks. This was not the result of a rare fit of temper from a man who did not know his strength.
“He, he said…” Gillian paused to take a deep breath, fighting back the hysteria that wanted to surface. “That if I refused to wed His Grace the duke of Langdon that he would make me suffer as I have never imagined suffering before. He did not say how, yet I know he meant it. I can still see his eyes. He is evil, and he hates me. He will kill me, I know it!” She dissolved into tears and let Lady St. Robert soothe her as her own mother might have, had she lived.
“Hush dear. I will help you as much as I am able. I cannot promise anything now. But I will try.” Isabelle was not certain she believed Carlisle would actually murder his niece, but it was clear that he was not above inflicting pain. The poor girl clung to her and wept her heart out. When the tears had ceased, Isabelle stroked Gillian’s head and patted her hand. “Now, you must go back to your chambers. You must act as if nothing has happened. Can you do that?”
Gillian nodded. “I can do anything for Duncan.” She covered her mouth with her free hand.
“You need not be alarmed,” Isabelle smiled. “I had guessed it already.
You do not make things easy on yourself in choosing my son over a duke. Still, if you have the strength to fight, you shall never take for granted what you gain.” Gillian made to leave. “A moment, please.” Isabelle went to a large chest and rummaged through until she found a good sized brown pot filled with what seemed to be an aromatic goo. “I shall see to those marks before you go. This will take some of the pain away, and lessen the swelling.” She carefully smeared the salve on Gillian’s arms, talking to her all the while. She could sense a deep need for mothering in the girl. She knew that Eustace and Annora Carlisle had died when Gillian was quite young.
When the treatment was finished and Gillian’s bodice back in place, she hugged Lady St. Robert fiercely and then fled the chambers. Isabelle smiled. She liked this Lady Gillian who had stolen her son’s heart. It would be a delicate business untangling Everard’s web, but she would try. “Oh Duncan,” she sighed, “you never make things easy.”
That's all for now. I look forward to getting back in touch with the world, and resuming my participation in Weekend Writing Warriors. See you around the web.
At least I assume it's only people visiting my site. I suppose cats might be using our internet connections while we're asleep, but I doubt they would find much of interest here.
I've made it through the first two days of Camp NaNoWriMo and I am currently ahead on my word count. My attempts at tent building have failed thus far, but I do not despair of hope. I will find a way. Perhaps I should borrow some duct tape from one of my fellow campers.
My cabinmates are wonderful. We chat regularly and have entered the Cabin Challenge under the team name of Marshmallow. The idea is to reach a collective word count, and so if one of us falls behind another can write extra to help the team. I have received much encouragement from the other campers in Cabin Marshmallow. I sense new friendships will blossom during this camp session.
The story is progressing as well. I think the plot will really pick up now and a finished draft may well be within sight.
The food has been ok, and I have not run into any poison ivy yet. I have not gone swimming in the lake, for two reasons: 1. I don't swim; and 2. there are rumors of vicious monsters that attack your plot, dragging it down and putting holes in it, twisting and turning it until you can't recognize your own work. I don't consider myself particularly superstitious, but I figure it's better not to chance it.
I'll write again when I have a break in activities. Hope all is well for you. Give Aunt Bertha a hug for me.
P.S. Please remember that April is also Autism Awareness Month. As a mother of autistic children, this means a great deal to me. The world is sadly lacking in understanding of this disorder and cruel words, even when clearly spoken out of ignorance, can hurt our children and those of us who love them. Please find some time this month to learn more about autism, or to share what you know with another. Thank you.
Welcome to this special Easter edition of Weekend Writing Warriors
. Don't know if I'll be getting my visits done today, may have to go into Monday. No special Easter scene for you, so I'll use the random method again. I'd like to take this moment to thank everyone who visits me each week and offers their support of my writing. You guys rock!
This coming month, I'll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. It's my hope that I can (finally) finish the first draft of The DeFord Chronicles, Part II
during Camp. This means I will not be posting for WeWriWa during the month of April, but I will be back after the event ends or I finish the draft--whichever comes first.
And now, on to the excerpt! From Chapter 12...we join Queen Allyn of Frandia as she is contemplating what to do about her seventeen year old daughter's romantic distress.
***SPOILER ALERT*** This excerpt covers part of the plot of The DeFord Chronicles, Part I
via the queen's remembrance of events that took place when she was her daughter Therese's age.
"Had she been this much of a trial to her parents at ten and seven? She thought back to that year and realized that the answer might not be comforting. That had been the year of the revolution. The year she had forged friendships with Moreen DeFord and Isabelle St. Robert, though she had been Isabelle DuClerque at the time. The year she had defied her father once to free those friends from wrongful imprisonment, sneaked away from the palace after dark to tell William DeFord of his son’s birth, and been reunited with the man to whom she had lost her heart months before in Paris. The fact that her beloved was leading the rebellion had wounded her but when her errand into the rebels’ forest camp had been discovered she had refused to implicate him. She had been confined to her chambers for her disobedience and feared a harsher punishment, but the battle had reached the palace that night and she had been set free only to witness her father’s murder by an angry nobleman who wished revenge for his own father’s death.
Perhaps comparing Therese to herself was not the best idea."
That's my eight for the week. Hope you enjoyed it. I'll be around the blogs this weekend, and will see you all again in May.Kate
The lovely and talented, and also super sweet, J.M. Blackman
has tagged me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award.
The process is quite simple. Link back to the person who recommended you for the award, answer some questions about your favorite sweets, and tag a baker's dozen of other sweet bloggers. Here are my answers to the decreed questions.
1. Cookies or Cake? This is a hard one for me, but I'm going to have to go with cake.
2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Usually chocolate. Though I almost had a chocolate overload yesterday--a thing I did not think was possible before trying Culvers' Chocolate Oreo Volcano frozen custard. The COV nearly had me convinced that there is indeed such a thing as too much chocolate. Scary. I shall avoid that flavor in the future.
3. Favorite sweet treat? Um...other than chocolate in all its glorious forms? Probably pie because there are so many variations. And most are fruit-based, and fruit is good for me. :o)
4. When do you crave sweet things the most? There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. It really varies. Except for a certain cyclical chocolate craving. Regardless of what scientific experts say, that craving does
exist, and it is
triggered by hormones.
5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Heck if I know! I'm not very tall so maybe shortcake? If anyone has any ideas of a good sweet nickname for me, please let me know.
Questions answered. Now it is time to nominate a baker's dozen (13, for those who don't know) of super sweet bloggers:Teresa CypherDonna CummingsSara BarnardLauren RoyalSarah BallanceEmma LaiSandra SookooCharmaine GordonAnn SwannCarrie CrainJoanne StewartCarrie-Anne BrownianKate Meader
That's it. Now I must notify my nominees. For this task I will use a combination of Twitter, blog comments, and Facebook. Thank you for reading. Please stop by again for a peek at my WIP The DeFord Chronicles, Part II for Weekend Writing Warriors on Saturday and/or Sunday.
My dear friends, as we gather together on the internet for another weekend, I wish to thank all of your for your kindness and encouragement. It gladdens my heart to read your comments each week, and I very much enjoy making the rounds of the other WeWriWa
This week we are back to my WIP The DeFord Chronicles, Part II
. I have used the random scrolling method and it has brought us to a couple I have not yet introduced to you all. With all the lovey-doves flying around court, I have to say these two are refreshing in that their courtship is rather unconventional, far less flowery and poetic than many of the other couples in the story.
Ian Devereaux came to court only because he couldn't get out of it, but he found a purpose for being there the moment he set eyes on Sarah Milton. He took a unique approach to wooing: he simply decided he would marry her and told her so. She, being rather level-headed and not prone to the whims of others, has pretty much ignored his declaration. Yet Ian persists in believing that they are to be wed.
Sarah finally gets angry enough to lose her temper while they are out riding, and the following occurs. (creative punctuation warning) “By God you are beautiful!” It was not like Ian to say such things aloud but her eyes blazing, her cheeks flushed, and the look of angry determination on her face was an ironically perfect complement to her normally placid nature.
She raised the hand holding her riding crop to strike him, but he was quicker than she. He edged his mount beside hers, caught her hand and kissed her full on the mouth in broad daylight where anyone might see.
Chest heaving, eyes still snapping, she stared at him and then did the unthinkable--she kissed him back.
“Be my wife,” he blurted out without thinking.
She pulled her arm free of his grasp and dug her heels into the gelding. “You shall have to catch me first.”
That's my eight for the week, though I had to squeeze it some. I hope you enjoyed it. I'll see you around the web.
Welcome to another beautiful edition of Weekend Writing Warriors
. Given that it's St. Patrick's Day weekend, I'd like to share eight sentences from my Irish novel. Unfortunately I don't have an Irish novel, so it became a choice between my WIP and my latest finished novel.
The former is set in the early 15th century and is thus closer to the time of St. Patrick. The latter has a family names Pritchard, which is a derivation of ap Richard, a Welsh name and Wales isn't too far from Ireland. I've heard it claimed before that Patrick himself was Welsh, but I have no idea whether or not that is true.
When faced with a decision like this, I always give it the solemn and careful consideration that it deserves. Meaning of course that I flip a coin. As St. Patrick once compared the shamrock to the Holy Trinity, I went for best out of three. My contemporary novel Bridging The Gaps
won. But never fear historical fiction fans...my WIP will be back next weekend.
In Chapter 36 all is going well until Ellen gets a call from the high school. Her son Matt masterminded a prank involving the Principal's car. Doug (Matt's father and soon to be Ellen's ex) asked where Matt got the idea and everyone was surprised when the Vice Principal, Vince Gerard, answered:
“[It was the] senior prank at my high school.” He shifted his weight from one foot to another. “Maybe I should have kept that story to myself.”
[Principal Braymer] silently agreed. “Nevertheless, I’m sure Matthew understood that he would be punished.” He looked at his student expectantly.
Matt answered with sheepish honesty. “Well I didn’t plan on getting caught, sir.”
Gotta love Matt! Well that's my eight for the week. I'll see you around the other WeWriWa
authors' blogs. Until next time...Kate
Thank you to all who visited last week. Many of you were very concerned about our poor poison victims and I'm sorry to tell you that I will not continue from there this week. However, the virtue of the random scrolling method is that I can blame it
, should anyone have a complaint. ;o)This week I'm going way back to the first half of the draft. Let's see where I end up. All the way back in Chapter 8. Royal marriages in the 15th century were not love matches by any means. The bride and groom often met at the wedding mass, and it was understood by all that happiness was a luxury. The point of the union was to forge an alliance and produce heirs. Liking one another was unneccessary. However, despite the realities of the times, some royal couples lucked out and ended up well-matched anyway. I give you such a couple.
Princess Sophie of Frandia leaned back happily upon numerous cushions. She thanked the Lord for her good fortune. The daughter of a powerful family, she had no illusions about her value to her elders: she was a pawn to further their ambitions. She had long ago resigned herself to the fact that her marriage would be one not of her choosing, thus she had prayed for a husband who would be kind to her. She had not thought to ask for more, and yet Nicholas of Frandia had far exceeded her expectations.
Seeing him for the first time at their wedding, she had been struck by the beauty of his countenance, the strength apparent in his trim body, the warmth in his eyes. The wedding night had been most pleasant. She had been well-prepared for rough-use, pain, and embarrassment, but apparently she had been misinformed.
I think that counters last week's rather depressing excerpt rather nicely. I have a meeting this afternoon but hopefully will be able to make all my regular visits before the end of Monday. See you around the web my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors.
Hello fellow former Sixers! Nice to see you again. I'm going to post from my latest novel, Bridging The Gaps
(now available in paperback as well as eBooks).
If you're here for my WeWriWa post, just scroll down. I posted that one earlier.
We're in Chapter 30 as Ellen's ex-husband-to-be, Doug spots their youngest daughter out on a date. Now as far as Doug is concerned, Melanie isn't allowed to date, and he's not above making a scene in a public place. Even his fiancee Chloe gets annoyed and tells him to knock it off. Chloe speaks first here.
“Stop this right now! You’re acting like a cave man.”
Finally aware of the spectacle he’d created, he released Melanie and lowered his own voice accordingly. “And just how am I supposed to act when I catch my daughter out on a date when she knows full well she’s not allowed to date until she’s sixteen?”
Humiliated beyond belief, Melanie didn’t even think of the potential problems her defense would cause when she said those four inflammatory words: “Mom said I could.”
That's my six. See you around the web as I make the rounds visiting the other Write Club
Thank you to everyone who stopped by last weekend to read and to comment. I love reading your words. Now that February is over I shall go back to my random scrolling method of excerpt selection and back to the second half of my WIP The DeFord Chronicles, Part II
After all that romance, I believe it's time for some drama. From Chapter 22: the screams of a young lady have brought his majesty's castellan, Lord Hubert, to a particular bedchamber in the palace. It is he who speaks.
"You there,” he indicated a page standing within view. “Go at once to the king, then to the queen and Lord and Lady St. Robert. Tell them to come as soon as they can but nothing more except that it is I who sent for them.”
He knelt by one of the ladies on the floor and put his hand over her mouth and nose. She still breathed. He moved to the other, her breath was weaker but she lived yet. He rose again and motioned to one of the men he recognized. “Take a few men, locate every member of the royal family that you can, do it quietly."
Lest anyone wonder, it's poison and one of the victims is a princess. I actually haven't written much past this point and I'm hoping that posting it will give me renewed incentive to get back to work on the draft. Now, off I go to visit my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors